Euro 2012 qual. - Serbia hit back to sink Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland grabbed the lead in Belgrade only for Serbia to come from behind to complete a 2-1 win in their Euro 2012 qualifier.
The match was watched by 265 Northern Ireland fans in Red Star Belgrade's 55,000-seater stadium after UEFA ordered the game to be played behind closed doors as punishment for Serbian fans' clashes with Italian police during their last qualifier.
The travelling fans were celebrating wildly when they grabbed the lead courtesy of Gareth McAuley's header on 40 minutes. It would have stunned the home fans, but they were missing from the somewhat eerie surroundings.
The atmosphere seemed to suit Nigel Worthington's side as they set about their challenge with some relish.
Northern Ireland seemed to capitulate in the second half as Serbia hit back in some style. Marko Pantelic swivelled to thump the ball under visiting goalkeeper Lee Camp from 12 yards on 65 minutes after some sloppy defending.
Northern Ireland are second bottom of Group C on five points. They face a crucial match on Tuesday night when Slovenia visit Windsor Park in Belfast.
Slovenia are two points ahead of the Northern Irish, despite their 1-0 home defeat to group leaders Italy.
The play was open and entertaining in the first half as Brunt fired narrowly wide from 22 yards out on 11 minutes before McAuley was on hand to clear Milan Bisevac's shot off his line a minute later.
Adem Ljajic somehow lifted an effort over the bar on 22 minutes while in space before McAuley netted the opening goal with his header, a quite superb finish that looked like it would provide the platform for an away victory.
Kyle Lafferty should have made it two a minute later when he was played in by Brunt, but he knocked the ball over the bar with just Serbian keeper Zeljko Brkic to beat.
It was to prove a costly miss as Serbia came to life in the second period.
Brunt saw Neven Subotic knock John Gorman's cross to safety when he was poised to pounce on 51 minutes before Camp made a brilliant block from point-blank range to prevent Branislav Ivanovic's header from hitting the net.
With David Healy replacing Lafferty at the break, Northern Ireland seemed to lose their sense of direction as Liverpool winger Milan Jovanovic played provider for Pantelic to squeeze his shot under Camp.
McAuley managed to throw a leg out to block a shot from Jovanovic seconds later, but the winner was to come as the visiting side were left to face up to their first defeat in the qualifying campaign after a win and two draws in their previous three matches.